Cardio Workouts For BJJ White To Black Belts

Excellent conditioning and strength are essential for Brazilian jiu-jitsu players of all levels, whether competing or just training. In addition, this is not easy to do without efficient BJJ cardio workouts and a healthy eating plan.

BJJ competitors understand how physically hard and exhausting to grapple at the total effort. Therefore, they know their need for an effective workout strategy and the need to rest.

A wise competitor cannot imagine fatigue in the finals if his goal is to compete at the most outstanding level possible.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered today!

In the following sections, you’ll learn how to develop excellent jiu jitsu cardio conditioning through practical exercises appropriate for BJJ white to black belts. Stay tuned!

What Physical Attributes Does a BJJ Athlete Require?

A BJJ athlete is different from other martial artists in many ways. However, there are many similarities in how these various fighting arts converge at the human body and its development. 

All fighting disciplines involve training your body to surpass its seeming limits in terms of physical strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. 

However, after this, the differences begin; while other disciplines prioritize endurance and strength, BJJ calls its followers to focus more on flexibility and balance. 

To clarify, this doesn’t mean that someone who’s practicing or training for BJJ shouldn’t lift weights or go for HIIT. Instead, experts recommend all forms of exercise for everyone. 

The distinction needs to be made that the priority should be flexibility and balance before working on your physical endurance and strength. 

That’s because BJJ demands you master your body’s movement and learn to balance yourself in really awkward positions while sustaining increasing pressure from stretched limbs and muscles. 

Sure, that weightlifting will help you lift heavier opponents off of you in sticky situations. But you won’t get anywhere with strength and physical endurance alone if you don’t do cardio and flexibility exercises. 

How to Do Flexibility Oriented Cardio Workouts? 

This is easy. Most of the exercises you know of as cardio even now involve stretching major muscles and limbs. While this isn’t all that you will need, it’s a good start for all. Don’t worry about the other bits because you’ll be covering the rest of it when you’re rolling. 

Always remember, your rolling sessions are not just high-intensity cardio. Instead, they’re a combination of various forms of strength, endurance, HIIT, and other workouts that work together to increase your overall efficiency on and off the mat. 

That is why you must keep on regularly rolling, keeping rest days in mind. This is and will be an essential part of your regimen. After your sessions, you can train to become better, stronger, and last longer on the mats even after you would typically be fatigued. 

This is where your cardio workouts and endurance training will come into play. As for flexibility, it’ll be your first line of defense against nasty injuries that are common in BJJ. 

Below, you’ll find a list of workouts for white-purple belts and brown-black belts. 

Firstly, let’s get this out of the way. The categorization of white-purple belts and brown-black belts has been made solely for complete beginners and regulars/experts, respectively. 

This isn’t a strict label on any exercise to be designated as specific to a certain level of competence. Even kids can and should go for BJJ training.

Anytime you can increase your workout’s efficiency and difficulty when you feel you’re not getting enough out of it. So, it would be best if you increased the workout duration and intensity.

Best Cardio Workouts for White-Purple Belts 

BJJ white to purple belts can start with just a 15-minute workout. This routine will be best for complete beginners who aren’t used to working out daily. 

Do an exercise for 120-180 seconds at a moderate pace and allow yourself a break of 30-60 seconds in between the following exercises: 

  • Mountain Climbers
  • High Knees
  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges 
  • Reverse and Side Lunges
  • Inchworms
  • Cycling 
  • Elliptical Running 

Best Cardio Workouts for Brown-Black Belts 

Brown-black belts can gauge their efficiency and limits well. While we’re categorizing things on a belt level, we all know that a professional bodybuilder can also be a white belt in BJJ. That doesn’t mean they should start with our white-belt workouts. 

At this level, you can take your limit from 30-60 minutes and use the following as a good warmup for your endurance and strength training. 

Time for Each exercise = 30 Seconds 

Rest in Between Exercises = 10 Seconds

Rest in Between Circuit = 45 Seconds 

Following the above, make sure to complete six circuits at least of a workout consisting of the following exercises: 

  • Jump Ropes
  • Push-Ups
  • High Jumps
  • Burpees
  • Lateral Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers 
  • High-to-Low Planks 
  • Explosive Sumo Squat
  • Tap-ups
  • Plank Pike 
  • Laterals
  • Tuck Jumps 

Other than the above, you can also try going for steady-state staple exercises for cardio, such as swimming, treadmill running, and cycling. 

Otherwise, rowing machines and airdyne bikes are also a state of the art cardio workout machines that can help you get that heart rate pumping. 


Stretching and flexibility exercises that engage your heart rate will require that you train in proper gym wear to aid you in your training. 

Make sure to start easy and gradually increase the intensity and difficulty of your workout, keeping in mind that your primary appetite should be for rolling.